Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been on foreign travel since Friday. Traveling with him is Frank Lowestein, the chief counsel of the committee.
While Hill staffers thought the trip seemed unusually hush-hush, SFRC spokesman Fred Jones said that is not the case. Kerry has been at the World Economic Forum being held at the Dead Sea in Jordan, and for meetings with Jordanian King Abdullah II. (Also representing the administration at the Forum was Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior advisor for intergovernmental affairs and public liaison.) Afterwards, Kerry stopped off in Rome for meetings in preparation for the Copenhagen climate change negotiations to be held at the end of the year.
While some Hill folk wondered whether Kerry might have also stopped in at the secret Bilderberg Group meeting being held in Athens (deputy secretary of state Jim Steinberg and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are reportedly among those attending), Jones said Kerry absolutely did not go to Bilderberg.
Kerry is pulling back into Washington this evening. The chairman along with ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) plan to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting with other senators in the Capitol-116 tomorrow at 9 a.m.
John Hudson reports on national security and foreign policy from the Pentagon to Foggy Bottom, the White House to Embassy Row, for The Cable.